The woman cried.

She cried and cried.

Not the silent tears

one might normally see

in a public place, no!

This was right out of the movies,

including trying to speak

while prostrating herself

onto the table

and wiping her eyes

with napkins.


I saw her daughter

when I walked in,

high school cheeks

flushed, embarrassed?

to a white-hot sunburn.

Her father sat stoic

The girl got up once

to grab her mother

another set of napkins.


The mother bowed

saying something

in their language,

indecipherable by me,

which is what lead

too this curiosity.


Nosey-ness is unwanted


but this woman was

making no secret her pain.


I asked myself about

the traditions

of those from the East.

Some animosity

seems to be driven by the fact

that people don’t understand,

but isn’t that all racism?


People turned from conversations

to take notice of the woman

sniffing and coughing loudly.


The father and daughter

didn’t move or speak to comfort

mother as she ranted,

broke to blow snot

into a rag and continued.


My understanding of the east

is that the people are reserved,

but the display before me

was far from that.


With no resolution for any,

I watched as the daughter got up

and left, the patrons looked away,

and I put on my headphones

to stifle the pain.


Photo Credit: David Silverman National Geographic


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